Thanksgiving marked the beginning of Rice basketball. Here’s a quick check-in on how both teams are doing so far on the court.
The 2020-2021 season has gotten of to a great start for Rice basketball. The men’s team replaced more than half of their roster during the offseason and were limited compared to their typical offseason routine. It was going to take some time to work out the kinks.
“Look, we’re all trying to find our way. We’re trying to see who the gamers are,” head coach Scott Pera said following the Owls’ home opener against Houston Baptist. Rice is now 4-0 for the first time since 2011, something that bodes well for the future.
The start is encouraging, but to some extent, it’s more encouraging to see this team come together as quickly as they have. “It’s important to play good basketball,” Pera said, “So yeah, we’re happy to win.”
- 68-53 (W) Incarnate Word
- 103-64 (W) Our Lady of the Lake
- 94-74 (W) Le Tourneau
- 86-54 (W) Houston Baptist
- Scoring | Quincy Olivari – 14.3 points per game
- Rebounds | Max Fiedler – 9.3 per game
- Assists | Max Fiedler – 3.3 per game
- Steals | Travis Evee / Chris Mullins – 1.5 per game
- Blocks | Tre Clark – 0.8 per game
Rice basketball get their biggest test of the season next Saturday at the Fertitta center against a ranked Houston team. The Owls traded blows with the Cougars from start to finish last season before Houston got hot down the stretch and won the game.
Beating Houston would put Rice decidedly ahead of their on-the-fly roster shakeup, but even without a win, the Owls can learn a lot about who they are and how far they have to go against Houston next weekend.
Rice women’s basketball was only two games into their season when they encountered their first COVID-19 cancelation. The UT-Arlington game was scrapped at the last minute due to a pause with the Mavericks’ program. The Owls deserve credit for their quick response, adding a game with Texas Tech on the fly.
Not only did Rice beat Texas Tech, they won in dominant fashion. Rice hit 12 three-pointers, held Tech to 30.8 percent shooting from the field and never trailed from start to finish. The win marked the first for Rice over a Power 5 program since beating Texas A&M in 2006.
For head coach Tina Langley, getting back on the court is a welcome respite from the hectic offseason. “We’re just so grateful to everybody who’s put in so much work so that we could play,” she said. “It was such a joy to take the port together. And I’m so proud of these young women.”
- 83-54 (W) Houston Baptist
- 66-54 (W) Little Rock
- 81-62 (W) Texas Tech
- Scoring | Nancy Mulkey – 13.3 points per game
- Rebounds | Nancy Mulkey – 10.0 per game
- Assists | Sydne Wiggins – 4.7 per game
- Steals | Jasmine Smith – 1.3 per game
- Blocks | Nancy Mulkey – 2.7 per game
Rice women’s basketball will have two more home games (Dec. 11 against Texas Southern and Dec. 16 against Louisiana) before hitting the road for their most important game of the season. They visit Texas A&M at Reed Arena on Dec. 20.
Their battle with the Aggies came down to the final possession a year ago. Texas A&M lost Chennedy Carter to the WNBA draft while Rice lost Erica Ogwumike. This year’s game is going to look different without either of those guards on the court, but the impact of a Rice win remains just as significant.